xi's moments
Home | Middle East

China and UAE ties continue to grow

By JAN YUMUL in Hong Kong | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2022-05-09 09:41

Despite their divergent policies in handling the pandemic, collaboration between China and the United Arab Emirates has continued to flourish, largely due to their deepening economic ties, experts say.

And as the UAE ponders life after Expo 2020 Dubai, a world expo the city hosted over six months until March, China will be a developing asset as a security partner, they said.

Patrick Cooke, managing editor for Middle East and Asia for the research and advisory company Oxford Business Group, said bilateral collaboration between the UAE and China "runs deep at both the business and political level".

"Relations remained strong throughout the pandemic-including during periods when the UAE was under tighter restrictions than China-so there is no reason why that should not remain the case now that China is operating under stricter containment measures."

Last month the UAE emerged as the travel industry's most recovered country, according to a report by the global technology firm Travelport. A key contributor is Dubai, which has recovered to 114 percent of its 2019 levels and is now ranked as the top global destination for corporate travelers.

In December 2020 the UAE was the first country to approve the emergency use of Chinese-made COVID-19 vaccines.

Shaojin Chai, assistant professor in the department of international relations at the University of Sharjah in the UAE, said that although China risks losing some opportunities to other countries whose borders are now open, it still enjoys advantages.

He cited China's determination and ability to mobilize its nationwide resources in countering the pandemic, economic depression and geopolitical tensions.

Chinese policymakers face an unenviable task of balancing public health risks and economic concerns, but global growth would certainly benefit from "less constrained" economic environment in China, Cooke said.

Chai said China's infrastructure projects in the UAE, such as Etihad Rail, are not much affected and show China's resilience in its Belt and Road Initiative ambition and achievement.

China State Construction Engineering Corp's Middle East subsidiary is fully engaged in building the 139-kilometer Package A of Etihad Rail's 605-kilometer Stage 2 project, connecting Ruwais and Ghuwaifat in the UAE. Etihad Rail is the developer and operator of the UAE's national rail network.

On March 29 CGTN reported that Stage 2 of the railway line between Abu Dhabi and Dubai had been completed.

The UAE's embassy in Beijing said more than 6,000 Chinese companies have operations in the UAE. Numerous memorandums of understanding and agreements have been signed, in areas such as sustainable energy, food and energy security, financial services, education and international humanitarian assistance.

Mohammad Salami, an associate researcher at the International Institute for Global Strategic Analysis, a think tank in Islamabad, said that although collaboration between China and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries is still primarily economic, it has broadened into political and military spheres.

"The United States' reluctance to support the (political and economic bloc) GCC has made it clear to them that they need to diversify their security partners, and that China will be an asset to them in this regard," Salami said. "This will strengthen relations beyond economic relations with China."

Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349